More Anti-videogame fodder

Being a college student, it is almost too easy to be trapped in the proverbial bubble. What happens in college, stays in college; what happens out of college…well, who really knows? Knowing that I soon have to rejoin the “real world”, I decided it wasn’t a bad idea to try to catch up with what’s going on the world. To this end, I set Fox News as my home page. This morning, I come to find an article chronicling the latest attempt at a school shooting in this country.

I found this disturbing, and quickly scanned the article for the pertinent information. It was close to the end that I found this quote:

“I think there was probably some bullying, name calling, chastising,” [Sheriff Norton] said. He also said investigators had learned the suspects were computer buffs who liked violent video games.

Unbelievable. I just don’t understand it. This country digs so hard to find something wrong with those of us who enjoy gaming. Yes, the Columbine shooters play “violent video games.” Yes, these five boys play “violent video games.” Yes, they both had similar plans.

I play “violent video games.” Never shot a person in my life. I’m not even that good at shooting clay pidgeons. So, is there a connection between school shootings and violent video games? Maybe. But in today’s society, I’d argue that not only was it not the direct cause or deciding factor, chances are, the people they planned on shooting had a Halo tournament the night before. What do the authorities have to say about that?

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Does anyone care?

I don’t understand how the lives of people with money are such a prevalent part of our news. Today, it was announced the world that Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes, a very unmarried couple, have finally given birth to a baby. What bothers me is that there are people whose lives are filled, no consumed by the lives of other people, namely celebrities.

To those who live such lives, let me point something out to you: it’s not your baby. It’s not your cousin’s your uncle’s, your mother’s, your brother’s or your dogs. This baby will never meet you. You will probably never meet this baby in person, but I know if you do, you’ll never wash whatever body part touched her. Meanwhile, right inside your home, next door, at work, at school, at church, etc. there is a plethora of people waiting to meet you and ready for you to meet them. They have real lives as well, most of which are more exciting and interesting than a celebrity. They worry more about their friends then they do their weight loss for the week. They don’t always care if they look the absolute best because they know their friends don’t care. These people are waiting and longing to be known and to know. Don’t let yourself be consumed with Tomkitten or Brangelina. Step out your door, put on a smile, and touch someone else’s life. I know, for some of you this is a tough assignment, but I know you can do it. For the person out there waiting to meet you, it would mean the world to them if you do.

Just my luck

MMO’s (Massively Multiplayer Online game) are blessing and bane in the same right.

The ability to be able to connect with your friends, and overcome insurmountable challenges from the comfort of your own home, while they enjoy the comforts of theirs is quite a thing. You can communicate through chat, or voice contact if you so prefer. Through hard work, proper coordination, a good leader, etc., playing an online game with your friends to overcome mutual goals can be an extremely enjoyable experiences.

The problem is that with a social enviroment, comes the same social awkwardness that plagues many of us. These social dilemmas just manifest themselves in different way. When playing an online game, you still have to use tact. When your group wipes (every member dies) four times, that still doesn’t make it polite to tell them they stink. Trust me, you want to. What’s worse, is that once you’ve joined a group, it becomes excrutiatingly problematic to extract yourself from that situation, even if it is 3 a.m. That’s right, getting into a group for an instance that’s supposed to be possible in 45 minutes, and then taking 3 hours to do, and still failing, is not enjoyable experience. Especially when that experience starts at midnight. There’s a reason I haven’t played my main character on WoW lately, and that my friends, is why.

In other news…

I was on my hotmail today, and under the hotmail logo, I saw that a large green button had invaded my browser space. It was informing me that I, of all people in the world, had been chosen to try the new Live Mail Beta. I was of course, immediately wary. Over the past few years, Microsoft has increasingly caused me to become so. I decided to take a risk and gave it a try. The interface is ok. You can set it up to look like it would had you routed it through Outlook Express, which if you have an new enough account you can’t do anymore without paying extra to my knowledge. All of the previously mentioned actions had taken place through Internet Explorer 6.x.

It wasn’t until later, when I attempted to open it in my personal browser of choice Mozilla Firefox that I found the catch. Without Internet Explorer, it defaults to the classic Hotmail set-up and some of it’s versatility is reduced. Once again my wariness of Microsoft came through for me in the end. I see this new Live Mail Beta as a direct attempt and failure to attack Google. It didn’t work on me, and I hope it doesn’t work on you either. Here’s two observations I took away from this episode:

1. Microsoft is consumed with itself and its monopoly. Yes, I knew this already, but episodes like this reinforce it. Why build a new, “better”, email system that won’t run on anything but your browser? Because you’re an idiot, that’s why. Microsoft’s stubbornness to maintain everything in it’s own operating system/browser/etc., I believe, will be the eventual death of it. I could be wrong. They have the money to survive for quite awhile, but if no one buys the product…

2. Google is what Microsoft used to be. They’re innovative, they’re about the consumers, and they don’t appear to be about the almight dollar. Microsoft just wants my money. I’m almost positive about the fact. On the other hand, I’ve never paid for a thing from Google. Ever. Their ideas that they’ve utilized into their search engine, maps site, and especially email are some of the most interesting and practical ideas out there. Gmail has revolutionized my life on the internet. If you don’t have a Gmail, find someone who does and get an invite. Trust me, you want it. Another reason I know Microsoft is after my money. The only time anything there changes is when someone else does it first. Then they steal it, corrupt it, and attempt to make me pay for it.

I just don’t know how long this can keep going. For that matter, why do people put up with it? If a major car company, say Ford, bought an oil company, altered the gasoline in some way, and them made all their cars so that they only ran off the altered oil they produced, people would be in an outrage. For that matter, Dodge and Chevy sales would increase. I guess that means we should start watching Apple sales and Linux downloads.

Delusions of Grandeur

When it comes to blogs, as in anything, it should be imperative for a writer to have a role model, or role models. Deep and intricate research should take place; the blogosphere should be polled and dredged, bringing up to the surface even the most terrible of blogs, for those too are learning tools. How in the world do you even start doing something like this? It is ridiculous, and perhaps even inane. Perhaps I’ve wasted space with this entire paragraph.

The point, if there is one, comes down to the fact that I have a desire for this blog to be good. We’re not talking about good in the sense that candy or a perfect day or a kiss from that special someone is good. (Well perhaps it could apply to the latter). What we are talking about, you and I, is a good that encompasses excellence, humor, wit, intelligence, and a firm grasp on the English language. Perhaps this is the type of good that this blog will encompass or perhaps not. As long as you enjoy reading it, does it really matter? No offense to you at all, but yes, yes it does.